book review: what’s left of me

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This unique book questions the meaning of identity. It takes place in a world much like out own, but in which each human is born with two independent souls. Children refer to themselves as “we” and “us” until about age 5, when they “settle” and the dominant soul/personality takes full control of the body, and the other one… well, recedes.

But what happens when the two souls never “settle”? What is it like for one person to actually be two? This is that story. Addie was late to settle, but the truth is that her other self, Eva, is still with her. In order to hide this fact from the rest of the country, who persecute the twin-souled “hydbrids”, Eva is forced to take a back seat in her own life. She hasn’t even heard herself referred to by name in years. The only life she knows is communicating with Addie in “their” head.

Addie and Eva have always been desperate to hide their secret, but soon learn that there are more like them. They are taken away to an institution, where they discover the shocking truth about hybrids, and the experimentation that’s going on with others like them.

The beauty of this story is how it’s told from Eva’s perspective. It’s really quite an affecting story, and Eva and Addie especially are created so vividly that your own heart contracts when you read their thoughts. I loved reading about Eva’s journey to regain some independence. I can tell that in the next book this will be explored more fully, and I can’t wait.

The rest of the cast of characters were interesting as well, and the plot was paced well. It wasn’t an action-packed page turner, but it wasn’t too slow either.

At first, the description of this book reminded me in a way of “The Host”, which deals with two personalities warring for control of one body. But in this case, the two souls are entirely natural, one is not an alien, and the result is a really stirring story about human nature, and identity. I highly recommend this as a unique read for teens, or adults.

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4 thoughts on “book review: what’s left of me

  1. I’ve read both this book and The Host, and I consider this one to be the better novel by quite some way. As you said, telling it from Eva’s perspective was a particularly nice touch. Are you planning to read the sequel?

    • Yes, I’ll definitely read the sequel “Once We Were”. I’m not sure I’ll read the second book in The Host trilogy, though I did enjoy that book as well, but in a different way.

      • I’ll probably read the The Host sequel if and when it ever comes out, if only so I can review it. I gather that Stephenie Meyer has been suffering a bit of a block with it, so it probably won’t materialise for a while yet.

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